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In the ever-evolving legal landscape, Bill A05772 is a significant development which has recently been passed in the New York State General Assembly. This bill allows an affirmation by any person, wherever made, to be subscribed and affirmed by that person to be true under the penalties of perjury.
Key Features of Bill A05772
Effective January 1, 2024, Bill A05772 which amends CPLR 2106 (Affirmation of truth of statement) permits the use of affirmations sworn under the penalty of perjury for everyone (not just attorneys, physicians, osteopaths, dentists, and persons physically outside of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) in lieu of and with the same force and effect of Affidavits in a civil action:
“Allows an affirmation by any person, wherever made, subscribed and affirmed by that person to be true under the penalties of perjury, to be used in a civil action in New York in lieu of and with the same force and effect as an affidavit.”
The following language must be included in the Affirmation:
I affirm this ___ day of ______, ____, under the penalties of perjury under the laws of New York, which may include a fine or imprisonment, that the foregoing is true, and I understand that this document may be filed in an action or proceeding in a court of law.
Impact of Bill A05772
On October 25, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Bill A05772 into law. This move is particularly significant as it opens the possibility for affirmations to be used in civil actions by any person.
Previously, there were limitations on who could make affirmations and where they could be made. With the passing of this bill, these restrictions have been lifted, providing more flexibility and inclusivity in the legal process.
Bill A05772 represents a significant step forward in ensuring that the legal process is more accessible and inclusive. By allowing any person to make an affirmation anywhere, it empowers individuals to participate more fully in the legal process, promoting a more equitable system. The passage of this bill is a testament to the continual evolution of our legal landscape to meet the needs of our society.
Beyond improving access to justice in the New York State, the amendment to CPLR 2106 aligns New York State court practice with the over 20 states that follow current federal rules (28 U.S.C. 1746) allowing unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury in place of affidavits.